How’s your week been? Mine’s been hard.
Actually, check that. It hasn’t been hard. It has been LONG.
I had three speaking engagements totaling over 13 hours. That’s a long time to be “on.” Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it and I wouldn’t change a thing, but it does take a toll. Physically, mentally, emotionally, as I write this, I’m tired.
I’m sure you can relate, right? You have hard weeks, long weeks, weeks that take a toll, too.
How do you handle it?
Here are five things I personally try to do when I know I’m going to have a particularly draining week:
1 – Don’t put lipstick on the pig
If you know it’s going to be a tough week, don’t dress it up and sugarcoat it. Call it what it is.
Tell yourself it’s going to be incredibly taxing and challenging, but while you do this, also tell yourself that you’ve got the goods to deal with it. Because you do.
2 – Waste no unnecessary energy
The last thing you want to do when you’re saddled with something hard is to waste unnecessary energy elsewhere. I make a very conscious effort to never get too high OR low during these weeks. If someone cuts me off in traffic, big deal. I can save my road rage for next week (kidding). For now, I need all my energy for what matters.
3 – Ruthlessly prioritize urgent vs. important
Limit decision fatigue as much as possible. If something is not urgent and doesn’t require a decision immediately, consider putting it off until you have more bandwidth. Even little, seemingly insignificant decisions add up.
4 – Intentionally schedule micro periods of time to recharge your batteries
These are times where you’re able to physically / mentally / emotionally remove yourself from the stressor. For this week, I still got all of my runs done, I watched a Twins game and the Vikings game, and I got together with my best friend and played with his young kids. While I was doing these things, I was not thinking about and feeling the pressure of being “on.”
5 – Be grateful
Bring the joy and keep your sense of humor. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably willingly created and entered into your long weeks, to some degree. Own that. It’s a privileged position to be in and you may as well have some fun while you’re doing it. If we didn’t want responsibility, we all would have built ant farms 🙂